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Marty Brennman takes the Reds broadcast to a very dark place

Jun 25, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

Marty Brennaman

Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley were doing the old Twitter question mailbag during a Reds game the other night and someone asked Marty what his greatest fear was.

Kind of a cool question. Certainly better than “who should the Reds trade for” or something. You figure Marty would go with “spiders” or “crowded elevators” or something. Instead, he gets real. Like, almost too real:

You have to tip you hat to Marty for being 100% honest — you can tell he thinks about this, maybe a lot — but I have never in my life been more thankful for Jeff Brantley being around to lighten the mood in my life. I’m just trying to think how he could top it.

“Well, Jeff, I often think of how bad it would be to be buried alive — Votto takes the 2-2 pitch up and in and the count is full — buried alive the way Uma Thurman was in ‘Kill Bill 2.’ Meeting eternity clawing and scratching at the inside of a pine box, screaming in vain. Votto takes ball four high and that’ll bring up Jay Bruce. Awareness of one’s imminent death, I feel anyway, may be life’s greatest possible horror. A horror we all must meet, but some of us, mercifully, unwittingly.

“Bruce is 6 for 20 lifetime against Garcia . . .”

(h/t to Deadspin)

  1. whatacrocker - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Can people please stop referring to Frick award winners as “Hall of Famers”?

    • paperlions - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      No kidding. Being given the Frick or Spink awards doesn’t not make one a HOFer. They give those things out to one of their own EVERY YEAR regardless of whether or not there is anyone deserving. It is essentially the “hey, you’ve done this a long time and we want to recognize that before you die” award that they give to themselves….even when most of the award winners haven’t been particularly good at their jobs. It is like putting every guy with a 15 year long MLB career in the HOF.

      • paperlions - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM

        ….and, of course, they are not HOFers because they were not elected to the HOF.

    • stoutfiles - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:12 AM

      Marty is in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association HOF and the National Radio HOF, so technically he is a “Hall of Famer”.

    • philliesblow - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      If they are good enough to be Hall of Famers they get the Frick award. If not, they get the Frack award.

  2. Marty McKee - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    You can actually hear the gears in Brantley’s brain as he scrambles for a way to kill the awkwardness. And he did a good job of it too.

  3. johnnysoda - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:38 AM

  4. admin - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I’m confused, the audio doesn’t match the story.

    • shawndc04 - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      At the end I believe that Craig is trying to top Marty for darkness, spoofing Mart’s fear if you will, with the buried alive thought made between pitches.

  5. admin - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I’m confused, the audio doesn’t match the story?

  6. jm91rs - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Well if it lightens the mood, last night’s “ask marty” was a guy asking how Marty feels about “high-waisted” shorts. It somehow turned into a conversation about people that wear pants that don’t touch their shoes. The guys had a tough time not cracking up and it was certainly a lighter moment than thinking about Marty dying alone in a hotel room.

  7. metalhead65 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Marty is the best there is at what he does. he is a straight shooter who tells it the way he sees it and does not sugar coat it. you may not like his answers but you will know how he feels about whatever he is talking about. the best thing about it is he is not afraid to offend the pc crowd. I fail to see what has you so upset, he was asked a question and gave his answer. that does not mean he stops doing his job while answering it.

    • fearlessleader - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Brennaman has spent a great deal of his career being a jerk, which is probably what you’re referring to when you call him a “straight shooter.” I actually found this clip to be an unusual and poignant (if awkward) window into the more human corners of his soul.

      The story also sent me down an internet rabbit hole about Don Drysdale’s death, which prompted this reaction from Orel Hershiser when it happened in 1993: “I thought about how many friends he [had] that it could have happened anywhere else but alone in a hotel room. That’s the one thing baseball players dread the most, is those four walls” — especially sad to read so soon after the anniversary of Darryl Kile’s death, alone, in a hotel room.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        I hear you fearless. Darryl Kile is who I immediately thought of.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      I think you need to stop believing that people who disagree with you are automatically members of the PC crowd. I can’t speak of anyone else, but my reaction wasn’t that he was wrong to say it (nor that he’s wrong to have that as his greatest fear), but that it was shocking to here him say it on the radio during what is probably designed as a light-hearted segment.

      The more I think about this, the more I think Brennaman is being brave to admit his greatest fear, and brave to have to face that fear more often than most of us have to deal with our own. But I’m just some liberal thug, so what do I know about real America?

    • largebill - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Brennaman is at best an acquired taste. Personally, as a transplant to Cincinnati I find listening to him difficult to tolerate.

  8. stichey - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    My very favorite part is when Marty has to pause “the darkness” in order to perform play-by-play. His ability to go from sober tones to a check swing was amazing.

  9. vottorific - Jun 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    As we grow older it becomes easier and more natural to talk about death. Its part of life.

  10. mazblast - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    A rare moment of thinking for Brantley. He’s the same moron who routinely dispenses with minor items such as the score, the name of the batter, the count, etc., instead preferring to regale Reds fans and listeners with the details of his ice cream habit.

    His best was on the TV side either last August or the one before, when he gave us this pearl of wisdom–“When you’re standing still, you have no momentum.” That was so bad that a minute later I got a phone call from my mother, who rarely pays much attention to the broadcasts but has them on as background noise–“Did Jeff Brantley just say…” “Yes, Mom, you heard it right.”

    Marty getting a little loopy at times, Brantley on the radio side (usually), and Marty’s idiot son on the TV side, reading anything management puts in front of him (he was on the radio, but fans got upset when he kept calling his broadcast partner “Dad”). The only way you can have the Reds on live anymore without feeling your brains seeping out is to have the TV on with no sound.

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